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Imminent arrival


The Yankees appear to be focusing on Joe Girardi to replace legendary Joe Torre as manager. Barring an unforeseen development, Girardi could receive the offer Monday.

Indications are strong that Girardi is the first choice of general manager Brian Cashman, who has been weighing a difficult call for days. Negotiations are expected to go quickly, with the Yankees expected to give Girardi a three-year contract for about $6 million to take one of the most high-profile jobs in sports. An announcement could come as early as Tuesday.

Cashman isn't expected to make his final decision until Monday, but the sense is that he is now trained on Girardi, the former Yankees catcher and 2006 Manager of the Year with Florida who had to beat out Yankees icon and George Steinbrenner favorite Don Mattingly, plus Yankees coach Tony Pena.

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Word is that the club's three ruling Steinbrenners -- including The Boss -- are expected to be "on board'' with whatever Cashman decides and will almost surely approve his final choice. Cashman has told people he is very appreciative to have the call, which is unusual in the Yankees organization, where George Steinbrenner has traditionally made the managerial moves.

Cashman appears to be focused on the question of who he feels is best equipped to lead the Yankees and will apparently not let a potential public relations setback sway him. The Yankees took a hit when Torre rejected their $5 million offer to return and can expect some negative reviews, if they bypass Mattingly.

Mattingly is beloved in the organization; and even if Girardi comes to an agreement to manage, the team would like to work something out to retain the man who coached under Torre the past four years and remains an iconic player from the past.

While Mattingly was said to have been "impressive'' in the interview, it appears Girardi, currently a broadcaster with Fox and the Yankees' own YES Network, may have bowled over the Yankees' baseball staff. Girardi is a hot commodity in the baseball community, having turned down the Orioles to be their manager and the Nationals for an interview. The Dodgers are also believed interested in Girardi.